View 138: Throwing Stones, Tossing Cabers

I attended the Central New York Scottish Games over the weekend and enjoyed a beautiful Summer’s day learning about Scottish heritage and celebrating their traditions.  One of their traditions are the athletic competitions.  The Stone Throwing is very similar to the Olympic sports of the shot put and hammer throw.

Craig Northrup of Rochester, N.Y. competes in the 56 pound Stone Throwing event at the CNY Scottish Games at Long Branch Park in Liverpool, New York, on Saturday, August 14, 2010.

Craig Northrup of Rochester, N.Y. shows physical strain and mental concentration as he competes in the 56 pound Stone Throwing event at the CNY Scottish Games at Long Branch Park in Liverpool, New York, on Saturday, August 14, 2010. Nikon D700/70-200VR, 1/1000s, f/8, ISO 200, EV -0.3, 200mm focal length.

The 56 pound (25 kilograms) distributed Stone Throw shows the agility, strength, and concentration of each of the competitors as they whirl around to build up enough momentum to cover distances over 30 feet (9 meters).

The Caber Toss is a unique Scottish athletic event which tests not only a person’s strength but balance and technique.  Cabers are long wood poles of around 19 feet (~6 meters) and weigh close to 130 pounds (59 kilograms).  Competitors get assistance in standing the caber on end but then have to lift the long and heavy log while balancing it against their bodies.  They carefully run with the caber to build up enough speed to stop and launch it into the air.  The goal is to toss the caber end over end so it tips over away from the tosser when it lands.  The straighter the caber falls, the more points are awarded.

Will Barron of Syracuse, N. Y. competes in the Caber Toss at the CNY Scottish Games at Long Branch Park in Liverpool, New York, on Saturday, August 14, 2010.

Will Barron of Syracuse, N.Y. yells as he tosses a Caber at the CNY Scottish Games at Long Branch Park in Liverpool, New York, on Saturday, August 14, 2010. Nikon D700/70-200VR, 1/640s, f/3.2, ISO 200, EV 0, 200mm focal length.

I learned the definition of a Great Scot at one of the vendor tables selling t-shirts: It’s not just the length of his caber that makes him great but also the weight of his stones.

All in all, a very good first outing for the New-2-Me Nikon D700 digital SLR camera.  More from the CNY Scottish Games later this week and on flickr.

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29 Responses to View 138: Throwing Stones, Tossing Cabers

  1. truels says:

    Well now I realize why Scottish men wear kilts……. 😉

    Like

  2. Gerry says:

    Great job, Scott! Craig Northrup seems to be flying right out of the photo at me, and you captured a wonderful expression. I assume that many of your sports photos end up in appropriate newspapers. I’m curious whether that 3-D effect carries over to print, or whether the full effect is only apparent on the screen?

    Like

  3. Kathy says:

    It’s not just the length of his caber that makes him great but also the weight of his stones.

    Ha ha, Scott, you did get a little risque today!

    good photos, as always.

    Like

  4. yesbuts says:

    I like the chap behind the caber tosser he looks as if he is praying. 🙂

    Like

  5. giiid says:

    These are very good and exciting action photos. I could not help wondering if you were using a telephoto lens, I hope so. Otherwise you really have been without nerves that day. Yesbut´s comment made me laugh, -it does look like he´s praying.

    Like

  6. Sean Kane says:

    Great captures. The images really convey the challenge of these events and how much these guys put into it.

    Like

    • What amazed me was these guys went all day. The same group competed in all the events from trowing stones, tossing cabers and pitching heavy sacks over a bar 20 plus feet in the air. Must have been some tired and sore muscles the next day.

      Like

  7. montucky says:

    Both photos look very good. Yes, I’d say it was a good first outing!

    Like

  8. Rose says:

    You really captured the event.

    Like

  9. yesbuts says:

    After enduring many Scottish winters, I question the intelligence of a nation whose men choose to wear skirts. 😦

    Like

  10. Nye says:

    Very nice Scott, I bet it’s a lot more fun shooting with the D700 than your old camera. I see that their games are not too costly, unlike golfing and other sports that requires expensive gear. 🙂

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    • I don’t know about that, Nye. The vendors were selling kilts for a large price up to $300. The D700 was a lot of fun to photograph this event with. The fast frames per second came in handy for the athletic events and the depth of field control of an FX camera and lens was fun to work with again. You’ll see more tomorrow about that.

      Like

  11. Anna says:

    Oh gosh, these are great action shots! I like them both and especially the 2nd one with the hat guy in the background with praying hands. LOL I bet they are a fun bunch to be around! And what fun I bet you are having with your new camera. 🙂

    Like

  12. Such great facial expression you captured there looks like a lot of fun to watch

    Like

  13. milkayphoto says:

    How neat!! You really captured the intensity of the event!

    Like

  14. Val Erde says:

    Excellent shots, both of them – great clarity. Why does the guy in the top one remind me of ‘Scotty’ from Star Trek?

    Like

  15. Pingback: View 242: Cortland Celtic Festival | Views Infinitum

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